Federal Reserve chatter has dominated market conversation over the past week as investors tinker with their expectations for rate hikes.
But don't be fooled: Even Fed officials won't have a definitive rate hike timeline until the data comes in.
"I don't think two or three are in the cards until we see more data," said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, portfolio manager of the Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust, on Monday. "[Fed Chair Janet] Yellen is very data dependent."
Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and St. Louis Presdient James Bullard, both voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee, each made comments on Monday that supported the likelihood of another rate hike sooner than later. Separately, San Francisco President John Williams suggested a possible "two or maybe three rate increases" this year on Monday.
"I'm wondering whether these people who are saying two to three hikes aren't part of a softening attempt," added Cramer. "In other words, if you think there's going to be two or three then you're going to do your selling ahead of time."
Wall Street received a wake-up call last week as the likelihood of a rate hike sooner rather than later was made clear. Volatility spiked last Wednesday after the release of minutes from the Fed's April meeting suggested many members would be comfortable hiking in June.
A rate hike in June now has a 30% probability, according to CME Group, after starting the month with odds of less than 10%.
Fed members will convene for a two-day meeting on June 14-15. Until then, the central bank still needs to analyze the second estimate for first-quarter economic growth, April's durable goods orders, a read on the manufacturing sector in May and the U.S. jobs report for May.